Belarus to inject $500,000 in tourism industry in 2011

Belarus is set to invest Br1.5 billion in the promotion of tourism industry in 2011. This is stipulated by the state tourism promotion program for 2011-2015 adopted by the Council of Ministers. 

The state program envisages the drastic reduction of the budget financing. The budget will provide only 18% of the funds, the rest will be provided by non-budgetary sources. 

Apart from that, the notion of “the amount of paid tourism and excursion services” will be removed from the new state program, as this indicator took into consideration largely the import of travel services. Instead, the new version of the law “On Tourism” adopted in October 2010 uses the indicators of export and import of tourism services. 

Under the program, the export of tourism services is to rise 3.5 times to $510 million. The state program envisages the construction and renovation of over 200 tourist facilities, including tourist complexes, hunting houses and cultural monuments. 

A special focus will be placed on the development of the hospitality industry, especially that of Minsk which will host the 2014 ice hockey world championship. 28 sites have been allotted for investors to build hotel complexes, 14 of them materialized into specific projects. More sites might be allocated for hotel construction closer to 2014. 

Other programs are also partially dedicated to the promotion of the tourism industry in Belarus. They are the state program of social and economic development and complex use of natural resources of the Pripyat Polesie for 2010-2015 and the state program to develop the recreation zone of the Lake Naroch region for 2011-2015. Over 1,100 tourist facilities are to be constructed and renovated in Belarus by 2015.

According to